On Friday, news broke that six Alameda teenagers were injured in a car accident in the early morning hours. Five of the passengers escaped with only minor injuries, but the sixth, the driver, was seriously injured and still hospitalized as of yesterday. All of the minors were under 15 and the driver was only 15 as well. According to all reports, so far, the car was apparently taken without the permission of one of the parents of the minors in the car.
Highlights from the Alameda Patch report:
[Sgt Ron] Simmons said the tree was “right at the driver’s door on impact” when the crash occurred. The driver and the one passenger in the front seat were wearing seat belts, but the four teens in the back seat were not, he said.
He said Alameda Fire Department personnel had to cut the vehicle’s A-pillar below the windshield and peel back the vehicle’s roof to extract the driver after the crash. Emergency personnel were able to reach the passengers without extracting them, he said.
Tweeter @medablog took screencaps of the news report which showed photo of the mangled vehicle:
Also according to an ABC 7 report alcohol was found in the trunk of the car, but one of the parents and the owner of the car said it belonged to him and that the kids might not have known it was even in the car.
This topic has, naturally, caused a great stir on Alameda Patch where it was first posted. One of the most interesting things that came up was the existence of a curfew and whether these kids were in violation of a curfew. It doesn’t appear that there is a city curfew in Alameda for minors, even though lots of cities have them.
The City of Concord has a particularly strict one which makes parents responsible for the actions of their minors, and will be responsible for paying for the costs to detain and transport minors that are in violation of the rules. Late last year Oakland considered adopting a curfew, but then decided to not adopt it.
Data about the effectiveness of curfews is rather mixed and some curfew laws routinely are challenged as a free speech issue. According to this database though, of all of our neighbors Dublin, Fremont, Hayward, Newark, Pleasanton, San Leandro, and Union City all have curfew. Alameda along with Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville, and Livermore do not have curfews. It has Oakland listed as having a curfew, but I believe that might be incorrect.
While I don’t know if having an Alameda curfew could have prevented this accident, just thought I’d pitch the topic out there in case folks that have stronger feelings on this than I do, wanted to have a say on the issue.